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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Home Decorating and Home Improvement Ideas

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jul 21, 2017 7:27 PM

Often, when we think of decorating and home improvement projects, they fall into two distinct categories. However, this need not be the case. There are some non-invasive concepts you can apply in both ways. In the article below, we'll touch on projects that will aid your upgrade effort--cosmetically, practically or in a hybrid sense.

Have Nothing That Is Not Beautiful or Useful

Clutter can apply to the everyday detritus we unintentionally accumulate around our homes, but it also denotes the things we keep just in case we may one day need them. If you're seeking a fresh perspective, many decorating gurus will advocate a quick and refreshing sweep through your home to first rid yourself of trash or recycling, borrowed objects, and other easily identified non-necessities.

The next step is purging items that impede the flow of your rooms. Experts advise some reflection at this point. Separating the things that matter deeply or contribute to the beauty of your home from those that you are holding onto for other reasons is key. If you have collections of related items, you can curate them in an organized fashion rather than leaving them scattered about your home as individual objects.

As a central theme of your simpler, cleaner design concept follow a few simple tenets. First, your private space--namely your bedroom--should be a sanctuary. Clear away odds and ends that often wind up here, design storage for laundry if it is lacking, and make it space truly your own. In other, more public rooms, give priority to the items you use most frequently and store or curate other objects to keep them out of harm's way.

Built-In Bookcases and Floating Mantles

If you have wall space, you have storage and display space. There are several techniques you can employ to make use of that new territory depending on your tastes and decorating needs. Floating mantles can be utilized for many purposes, although you should anchor them to studs if you plan on using them for heavier objects such as ceramics or book collections.

Another, more permanent investment is a built-in bookcase design. The fantastic thing about this concept is that you can modify it to suit any room, any purpose, and any space. In fact, you can even use custom built-in cases to create divisions between work and leisure space in an open concept room. These additions add value to your home because they can change the entire look of a room while offering additional storage and staging spaces. They're a larger investment that increases tangible equity.

Another great feature of these bookcases is that, while they have a relatively small footprint, they can make use of high-ceilinged wall space. Design a concept for the family room that houses electronics, showcases family photos, and offers space for your favorite three-dimensional artwork that could never hang on the wall. Install a unit in the kitchen to store cookbooks and bulky or infrequently used items. There's plenty of latitude when it comes to how you apportion the shelving within the structure, which means no matter what you have in mind, you can achieve it with minimal fuss.

Mid-Century Modern

While Colonial or Classical design motifs have their purposes and can be lovely, sometimes you crave a design that's clean and uncluttered. Mid century modern furniture may be what you're seeking. With distinctive, pure lines and unique applications of the material, it can further your need to create a dramatically different feel in your home. But quality must take a front seat, especially since the decorating aesthetic was not often matched by durability or utility in the past. What handcrafted pieces created with this design in mind offer today is a pleasing companion note to a minimalist scheme.

Of course, there are plenty of small changes you can make with ease to refresh the look and feel of any room. If you're in need of an upgrade but the time isn't right for a significant shift, consider a change of paint color, the addition of a simple piece of art, reupholstering worn chairs and sofas or replacing the hardware in the room. These are all relatively inexpensive fixes that can shift the feeling of the entire room.

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